"That was one of the greatest nights in the history of television." said a shocked Chris Rock when Will Smith went up to the stage and slapped the comedian right across his face during Oscars 2022. Well, not just Chris Rock, but everybody present at Los Angles' Dolby Theater where the 94th Academy Awards were held were shocked. Smith's reaction was no less than a bolt from the blue for those who saw it on television and social media.
Following the incident, the Oscars 2022 moment became Twitter's favourite meme and netizens can't stop talking about it. From sharing memes to different versions of the videos, social media is flooded with jokes and memes about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock. Sample some of these tweets:
For the unversed, while presenting the best documentary feature award, Rock, a well-regarded comic actor, joked about Will Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, starring in 'G.I. Jane 2' because of her bald head. He was referencing the 1997 movie 'G.I. Jane' in which Demi Moore appears with a shaved head.
Pinkett Smith has been open about her struggles with alopecia, a medical condition causes aggravated hair loss. Smith reacted to the joke by going up on stage, separated from where he was sitting by a foot, and slapping Rock. He then returned to his seat and shouted, "Keep my wife's name out of your f****** mouth!"
Smith won Best Actor for 'King Richard' following the incident and issued an apology in a tearful acceptance speech. The actor said: "I want to apologise to the Academy. I want to apologise to all my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment and I'm not crying for winning an award. It's not about winning an award for me. It's about being able to shine a light on all of the people."
The point to be noted here is that Smith did not apologise to Rock, the target of his wrathful behaviour that has overtaken the coverage of the otherwise carefully crafted event.